The apm shopping mall in Kwun Tong has apologized for using two goats in a Lunar New Year promotion campaign that raised funds in the name of Médecins sans frontières (MSF) without the charity’s consent, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.
Since early last month, the mall, operated by Sun Hung Kai Properties, has been holding a weekend promotion campaign for the upcoming Year of the Goat.
Shoppers can feed and take pictures with the goats after making a donation of HK$20 (US$2.58) to MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders.
Animal rights groups have blasted apm for limiting the freedom of the goats and scaring them.
MSF said it was not informed of the fundraising activity and the use of its logo had not been agreed.
The medical humanitarian organization said it reserves the right to take action over the incident and will not accept the funds the shopping mall raised.
Apart from apm, Yuen Long Plaza and Time Square in Causeway Bay have also used goats in their promotions.
The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has called for shopping malls to replace goats with cartoon sheep, and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said it will also look into the matter to see if there was any cruelty to animals.
Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong said the goats were chained inside a fence and suffered unnecessary pain. She urged shopping malls to stop such activities immediately.
An apm representative said the promotion was held in collaboration with an experienced farm and the goats were given enough water and room to move.
The representative said the mall will review future campaigns carefully and consult different parties for their opinions.
The mall said there was an internal misunderstanding about obtaining the consent of MSF for the fundraising.
Shek Kwok-keung, boss of Animal Entertainment Group, which rented the goats to the shopping malls, said there was no cruelty to the animals, as they were well trained to interact with people and a trainer was present to look after them.
Eleven animal rights groups issued a joint statement Monday calling for shopping malls to stop using real animals in their promotions.
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